Last month I wrote a post about Iceland’s economic (and political) meltdown which resulted from swapping out a successful fishing economy with a short-lived reign as the Wall Street of Western Europe – complete with U.S.-style excess and exploding financial bubble.
And now there’s something new.
Last month, Jon Gnarr, Iceland’s most popular comedian’s, and his Best Party won 34.7 per cent of the Reykjavik municipal election, and along with that, six of the 15 city council seats.
Gnarr is now the Mayor of Reykjavik, where two-thirds of Iceland’s population of about 300,000 reside.
The Best Party, whose leaders largely consist of punk rockers who promote an “anarcho- surreal” politics, was initially created as a satire.
But the people of Reykjavik voted for the the parody over business-as-usual as one way to vent their anger against Iceland’s ruling elite just two months after an official report accused the government and regulators of “extreme negligence” in the run-up to the crisis.
The 2,000 page report was read aloud by 45 actors from beginning to end 24 hours a day for about 6 days at the Reykjavik City Theater.
Here is the Best Party’s campaign video, an Icelandic cover of Tina Turner’s Simply the Best, with party members singing their little hearts out. Gnarr sings as well, and shouts out his platform that includes things like free towels at the swimming pools, a polar bear for the zoo, and other stuff that involves words like Seltjarnarnes and Hljomskalagardurnin that I don’t understand.
If you are as intrigued by Iceland’s recent events as I am, check out the promo trailer for You Are Here, “a play ripped straight from the reality of Iceland” by experimental theater company Mindgroup which was performed at the Reykjavik City Theater.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.